Recount Confirms Pearson's Chittenden Senate Primary Win | Off Message

Recount Confirms Pearson's Chittenden Senate Primary Win

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June Heston with her son, Keegan - COURTESY OF JUNE HESTON
  • COURTESY OF JUNE HESTON
  • June Heston with her son, Keegan
June Heston lost her bid for a Chittenden County Senate seat after a recount put her 28 votes behind sixth-place finisher Sen. Chris Pearson (P/D – Chittenden) in last month's Democratic primary.

The recount in Burlington wrapped up on Tuesday and Superior Court Judge Helen Toor confirmed the final results on Wednesday.

“I think it was worth it,” said Heston, a nonprofit consultant from Richmond in her first run for public office. “Everyone is now confident that the results are real.”

The initial results showed Pearson with a 45-vote lead over Heston for the sixth Chittenden County Senate seat, well within the 2 percent margin needed to request a recount. 
Sen. Chris Pearson - FILE ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • File ©️ Seven Days
  • Sen. Chris Pearson

The other five winners of the nomination contest were three incumbents — Sens. Ginny Lyons (D-Chittenden), Michael Sirotkin (D-Chittenden) and Phil Baruth (D/P-Chittenden) — former state representative Kesha Ram, and South Burlington City Councilor Thomas Chittenden.

Both Pearson and Heston picked up votes during the recount, though in the end, Heston fell 28 short: 11,782 to Pearson's 11,810.

Heston said she was pleased with the result because the recount process narrowed the gap between the two candidates and identified some issues to be resolved before the general election.

For instance, the hand-counting process confirmed votes that the tabulator machine had rejected for something such as a bubble that was not completely filled in, Heston said.

Heston said she called Pearson to congratulate him on Wednesday, and on Twitter, Pearson did the same.

"June and her supporters have every reason to be proud. Congrats on running such a strong race during challenging times!" he wrote. 

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